Last night, I took the first steps toward finding a long-term solution to my housing by contacting friends and enlisting their help. Now that they know what location, price range, and requirements I have (which are few) the search is beginning in earnest. I'm hoping to have something secured before I leave so that when I return in June the transition will be seamless.
In general, housing here in the capital is expensive. The price I will pay for a lower quality 1-bedroom here (no a/c, no washer/dryer, no covered parking, etc.) would get me a medium upscale loft in Houston. But, it is what it is, so I will accept the situation and move forward.
I'm also looking at a vehicle now, a Honda CRV with about 60,000 km (37,000 miles) on the odometer. The road conditions here mean those are 'hard' miles, by the way. The price on it is not nearly as bad as I expected. The good news is that, although I haven't done a straight-forward calculation on fuel here, it seems that, in general, 100 kina ($36) will fill up the tank on most vehicles. Yippee!
The next few weeks are going to be hectic and action-packed, but I'll try to keep the updates here coming so you guys can keep up with my adventures. My next big adventure? Seeing my sweetie after SO VERY LONG!!